It's time, it's 4:00 am, although you don't want to get out of the bed because of the cold outside and I don't want to imagine how we will be the following days with the cold and the rain in the camp. The worst is over last night….placing the thousands of gear and bags in Bryan's car which is short on hopper space. Anyway! after some hard engineering work we made it, everything is ready. Ready to go.
“The idea of going to Nevado Ausangate between January and February, the rainiest time of the year, was because we simply wanted to do it”
We leave by miracle on time at 5:00 am, first stop, Checacupe pueblo, for a good breakfast with Quinoa and Maca (classic Peruvian breakfast).
All the way we slept, the whole team was still sleepy. I think deep down we all felt a bit nervous, anxious, sad, a bit of everything.
We arrived at a town really far away which I baptized : The Mordor (Chillca Town) because of the landscapes that are similar to the movie "The Lord of the Rings". The trail was very hard and muddy, but thanks to the good management of River (our driver) nothing could go wrong.
It is 1:00 pm, we arrive at the camp to remove stones, find a good place to mount the tents and the kitchen.
With the campsite ready, it's time to cook. Colored noodles with tuna and tomato sauce. I don't know if it was the hunger but the food was really good.
And for dessert: a first descent, which one? The longest and most vertical freeride I've ever done in my life. Of course, the problem was to get to the highest point, 5000 meters high with a bike on my back.
Nicolas said: Oops, I think we forgot to film and photograph it.
Then someone said: let's do it again. But let's go down at a higher speed. I agree said Nicolas, good idea said me, then I'll take the picture said Bryan.
6pm almost dark and ready to go down on the bike! We closed the day with a crazy freeride, from 5000 meters, straight to the base camp, to celebrate and get into the sleeping...... it is very cold here and it started to rain.
I forgot to mention that we made a gift and thanked Pachamama for such a good day and despite all, to protecting us.
After a cold night sharing the tent with Bryan, he get a diarhea and go constantly out to do his things. I go to bed after i drank 2 liters of water, which made me go out every 10 minutes, and of course my mat was always deflating; despite all, I slept almost well. Of course, when i will wake up it will be better to have my own tent to sleep more comfortably and have all my equipment organized.
The weather was great! impossible to be better. Close to reach the highest part we could go, we start to feel fatigue and lack of oxygen with bikes on our shoulders, the legs start to be painful, the last few meters were impossible for us, but with the emotion of seeing what awaited us at the top. Until finally… 4921 meters, we reach the top! And the body start to regain energy when we saw the mega descent that awaited us, with the panorama of the glacier.
And now ? A narrow, vertical and technical path, straight to the base, where we find a couple of turquoise lagoons at 4200 meters. Those moments when you feel more alive, but at the same time fearful, due to the magnitude of the mystery and loneliness that the Andean mountains give you.
Bryan and Nicolás went to take pictures, River went to explore and I just want to rest, so I stayed in the camp. I wanted to cook but the desire to see the landscape was stronger. A lot of beauty, a lot of peace, a lot of loneliness.
I got some inspirations and prepared Tacos with salted vegetables and tuna. It was the best meal we ate on the entire trip.
The boys arrived, we ate and chilled all the afternoon. We brought so much food, I gave many things to Florencio, a guy who leave nearby with his alpacas and growing native potatoes. We play with his two childrens, one called "cucumber" Edgar (2 years old) and Anita (5 years old), nice afternoon : childrens, love, innocence, landscape, peace, friends. The most beautiful thing was that Florencio took me to the river from the snow-capped mountain and fish a few trouts that he offer to us, also his wife offer us home-made bread pan, freshly made and very warm. I felt at home.
I knew that will be a long night, I gave my mattress to Florencio and I was thinking of sleeping on the car bike's protection; but again Florencio arrived with 4 sheep's skins that I used as a base and everything changed, I slept very well, I felt like I was in a warm cloud. Finally my first good night.
The next morning the surprises keeped, the weather was really clear, all green and white. We start to get ready for the last day, the final ride of the expedition, the Ausangate ride.
We had a fish broth for breakfast boiled only with salt, Florencio gave me some purple native potatoes, his wife cooked us Baby Alpaca meat directly in the ashes (Alpaca a la Leña), very tasty! He also invited us to come back the next time and sleep in his cabins, to fish, shear alpacas and show us more places. Florencio and I became very good friends.
I was very sad to leave this place. Something of my will remain with that family.
The final descent, the most epic one with a sunny day, “THAT DAY”.
Everything had to go well. Near the top, the rain started, it turned into icy wind that hit your face and you felt the cold, hunger, tiredness and dizzy from the altitude at 5000 meters.
The landscape was completely covered by the mist, we start the descent, It was really muddy, we were wet, cold and hungry, we didn't enjoy it as we should.
"These are those moments where the team have to talk about fun things, laugh and try to compensate the bad weather and the lack of energy. When you feel down and in a bad mood, everything becomes like that. It's the attraction of things."
It's over! We arrived at Pacchanta to take a good bath in hot waters and recover from the pain of our muscles.
The more our body suffers; the younger our soul becomes, because as much as we can discover the world, the most challenging thing to know is himself.